At the Sharp End: From Le Paradis to Kohima: 2nd Battalion, the Royal Norfolk Regiment - Peter HartBarnsley: Leo Cooper, 1998, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently faded at the spine of the dust wrapper.
Number 2 in the series. Includes: Plans of battle; Black & white photographs; Maps;
From the cover: “This second volume in the Pen & Sword Regimental Actions series describes the trials and tribulations of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Norfolk Regiment, in the Second World War. A regular battalion trained in the peacetime ‘spit and polish’ and ‘bull’ of Britannia Barracks, Norwich, they were the heirs of a proud regimental tradition as the old Ninth of Foot of the Line. As the blitzkrieg raged at the end of the ‘Phoney War’ the bulk of the unit were caught in a last ditch defence against an SS Division at Le Paradis in France, May 1940. Here they sold their lives to gain precious time for the retreating BEF and, after a heroic defence, nearly 100 of the survivors were brutally massacred. Yet the spirit of the battalion remained intact.
Drafts from Norwich, Birmingham and London were moulded into a new 2nd Battalion which arose like a Phoenix from the ashes in England in late 1940. Posted with the 2nd Division to India, the men honed their skills until the Imperial Japanese Army finally made its thrust for India in March 1944. This elite Division was airlifted to the Kohima area to meet the Japanese head on. The 2nd Norfolks were selected as part of a flanking thrust, like a right hook, round the main Japanese defences. Led and inspired by the infatigable Robert Scott, their larger than life roaring bull of a Colonel, they marched for days through jungle previously considered impenetrable, until they clashed with the Japanese on GPT Hill. Here Captain John Randle won his VC and lost his life charging what came to be known as the Norfolk Bunker. Finally the Battalion took part in a heroic assault up the sheer heights of Aradura Spur as part of a series of actions which finally cleared Kohima and opened the way to Imphal.
This book is based on a series of interviews conducted by the author in his capacity as Oral Historian of the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive.”